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UN opens another centre for Afghan refugees in Pak

The United Nations (UN) on Wednesday inaugurated its second voluntary repatriation centre in Pakistan’s restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to facilitate the safe return of up to 10,000 Afghan refugees daily.

The new centre in the province would enable the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to facilitate the return of refugees through the Torkham border crossing, a key border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The centre is situated at Azakhel in Nowshera district, some 40 km east of Peshawar.

UNHCR representative in Pakistan Indrika Ratwatte said, “The extension is an important decision by Pakistan, which recognises the importance of policies to manage the legal stay of registered Afghans in the country”.

“Pakistan has ensured that repatriation remains voluntary and that returns are conducted in safety and dignity,” Chief Commissioner for Afghan Refugees Imran Zeb Khan said.

Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal asked Afghan refugees to return to their homeland “despite the challenges and to join the nation-building process”. 
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